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Prevent Turnover with Stay Interviews



Everybody’s heard of screening interviews, behavioral interviews and exit interviews.

But “stay interviews”? They’re not as well known and not as widely used – but perhaps they should be.

In our current economy, jobless claims are down. Businesses are hiring. And great people are getting harder to find. To compete in these conditions, you need to find smart ways to keep your hard-working employees “in the fold.”

How can you spot the ones whose eyes might be wandering in search of greener pastures? You guessed it: stay interviews.Here’s why they’re such an effective tool in helping you to prevent turnover:

  • They’re proactive. Stay interviews are conducted early, often before there are any outward signs of employee discontent. Because the sooner you know that employees are considering leaving, the more time you have to address situations.
  • They’re action-focused. Exit interviews are typically designed to gather information and identify problems after employees have decided to quit. Stay interviews, by contrast, encourage both employers and employees to identify and then fix problems that contribute to turnover.
  • They demonstrate your commitment. Stay interviews are one-on-one opportunities to show that you care about employees’ well-being, value their contributions and take their job satisfaction seriously.

Interested in reaping the benefits stay interviews have to offer? All you need to get started is commitment to the effort and a solid process. Here are a few questions you can customize to conduct periodic stay interviews (or even incorporate in your existing performance review process):

  • Does your current position fully leverage your experience, talents and abilities? Why or why not? (The purpose of this question is to determine how well the position aligns with the employee’s perceived strengths. Obviously, a lack of alignment is a potential red flag.)
  • What do you enjoy most about your job? How does your role impact the company, our customers/clients, our community or the world? (Find out what matters to your employee – factors that motivate him and make him committed to stay working for you. If your employee can’t provide a good answer to questions like these, probe further to learn why. He simply may not fully understand the difference he makes, or he may be truly dissatisfied with his job.)
  • Do you feel that management takes your ideas and concerns seriously? (If an employee feels isolated, or that management ignores him, he’s more likely to quit.)
  • Thinking back over the past six months, what opportunities have you had for recognition? Challenge? Growth? Learning? (Recent positive work experiences greatly enhance loyalty. Employees who feel stagnant, however, are more likely to search for other work opportunities).
  • Thinking back over the past six months, what were your biggest sources of frustration or anxiety in your job? (Identify sources of stress and discuss ways to alleviate them.)
  • What might cause you to leave this company? (Identify triggers that contribute to turnover.)

Looking for additional ways to prevent turnover?

Get expert help from our Nashville employment agency. Wood Personnel can help you find the best-matched candidates for your available positions. When you hire the ideal person – someone whose skills, experience and personality align with your company’s needs and culture – he’s more likely to thrive on the job and stay working for you, longer. Give us a call!